Posted by: aboutalbion | June 6, 2012

Temple of Albion (4)

A fourth anthropological criterion for identifying a religion might be said to be the presence of ritual practices.  I think that there is ample evidence for an anthropologist to collect that ‘the Crown in Parliament’ is associated with ritual practices.

I would start my list with the State Opening of Parliament in London, the ritual of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in London in November, the Trooping of the Colour ceremony in summer, the last night of ‘the Proms’, and countless other occasions when the National Anthem and/or ‘Land of Hope and Glory and/or ‘I vow to thee, my country’ are sung.

I would also wish to compare the citizenship ceremony that all adults wishing to become British citizens must attend with the initiation ceremonies of more ancient traditional religions.  These public citizenship ceremonies have been introduced because ‘the Crown in Parliament’ has decided that becoming a British citizen is a significant event and should be celebrated in a meaningful way.

The words of the declaration of allegiance, and the pledge, that each person has to make reveal the intention of ‘the Crown in Parliament’ to convey the impression that the promises made are almost sacred ones with respect to ‘the Crown in Parliament’.

The words used are as follows …

[“I (name) swear by Almighty God…”] or [“I (name) do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm…”] “that on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her Heirs and Successors, according to law.  I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms. I will uphold its democratic values.  I will observe its laws faithfully and fulfil my duties and obligations as a British citizen.”

To my mind, these promises have the structure of a religious creed.  And at the end of the citizenship ceremony, the national anthem is played, and all new citizens are invited to stand.

Incidentally, before the citizenship ceremony, applicants for British citizenship will have had to pass a ‘Life in the UK’ test, and may well have had to take an English language test as well.

These considerations continue to build the case that it may be appropriate to consider the United Kingdom as an organised religion, as a Temple of Albion, in which ‘the Crown in Parliament’ functions as a trinity of godlike powers acting on behalf of the goddess Britannia.

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